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The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers’ Season 2 Trailer Replaces Emilio Estevez with Josh Duhamel

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Today, Disney+ released a new trailer for season two of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers. The Disney Branded Television series, produced by ABC Signature, will premiere Wednesday, September 28 with new episodes dropping weekly on the streaming service. After winning back the Mighty Ducks team name last year, our squad-with-heart and their coach Alex Morrow (Lauren Graham) take to the road to attend an intense summer hockey institute in California run by charming yet hardcore former NHL player, Colin Cole (Josh Duhamel). It’s a place for kids to get excellent at hockey — without school to get in the way. As our Ducks try to survive in this super-competitive environment, they’re faced with the question: Can you win summer? 

The new footage introduces Josh Duhamel’s new character Coach Gavin Cole, the head of an elite summer hockey program in Los Angeles that takes the “best of the best” and makes them even better.

But when the Ducks (formerly known as the Don’t Bothers) show up for what they think is going to just be a low-stakes summer of hockey, both they — and Coach Cole — are in for a rude awakening, since the “camp” is more of an intensive training program for future NHL players than a fun few weeks on the ice with friends.

Even though it’s the off season, the Ducks are going to have to work harder than ever to prove that they have what it takes to compete. And hey — are those sparks we’re seeing flying between Coach Cole and Alex Morrow (Lauren Graham)?

Duhamel takes over for Emilio Estevez as the adult male lead on the series for season 2 after it was revealed that Estevez — who starred as the beloved hockey coach in all three Mighty Ducks films in the ’90s and reprised the character in the first season of the Disney+ revival series — would not be returning for season 2.

After weeks of negotiations between Disney Television Studios’ ABC Signature (which produces the series) and Estevez’s team over the show’s COVID vaccination requirement, the studio decided not to bring Estevez back. The actor, who also served as an executive producer on the show, reportedly would not confirm whether he would comply with the vaccine mandate. But Estevez publicly addressed his exit from the series by saying he is “not anti-vaxx.”

In a statement previously provided to EW, he cited “a good old fashioned contract dispute” and “a myriad of creative differences” as reasons for his departure. Estevez also said he had long COVID in the summer and fall of 2020. He did not address whether he had been or planned to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers season two stars Lauren Graham and Josh Duhamel with returning cast members Brady Noon, Maxwell Simkins, Swayam Bhatia, Luke Islam, Taegen Burns, and DJ Watts. Naveen Paddock joins the cast as a series regular.

The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers season 2 premieres Sept. 28 on Disney+.

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